Tube Tied

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Daily Blog, Random, Uncategorized | Comments Off

vasectomy.Stop_I love my wife. Valentines Day is more than just a day for cards and candy for us. It serves as the anniversary of the day we met 19 years ago. Because of that I wanted to get her something really special this year.

The idea of a vasectomy wasn’t a total surprise. We had talked about it since our son was born. We started having kids late so after the last pregnancy we were 39 and when I calculate my age as the children age the math doesn’t seem to go in my favor. I have a lot of work to do to be able to out ski, bike, or smart the kids for the majority of their childhood.

Before they allow the doctor to actually take a knife to your nuts they make them talk to you about the possible ramifications. I am all for talking about my junk so I called the receptionist to schedule. “Hi!” I said. “I want to schedule an appointment with the doc to talk about the snippy fixy operation”. “A vasectomy!?” she responded. Somehow I couldn’t remember what it was called.

I walked into the consultation. My wife had worked for this doctor before. She warned me that his bed side manner may not be the greatest. When he walked in he handed me an information sheet titled “Is Vasectomy for you?” and started “OK, so I need to talk to about what could happen with this surgery. First of all, you should think of this surgery as permanent. Some reversals can be successful but at your age you’re probably not concerned about that.”

“This is a pretty simple surgery. You get a small incision in your scrotum, I pull out the Vas Deferense, cut out a section, tie the ends in a knot, touch the ends with a hot gun, and shove everything back in. Then I do the other side”. OK, I nod.

The doc then began to discuss possible complications. Apparently, in some, the body can actually respond by producing anti-bodies to sperm, actually attacking and killing sperm found in the body. But as the doc said, “you are looking to sterile anyway, sooo . . . .”.

“Folks have noted that there are some complications that don’t really have any science behind them, but you should google post-vasectomy complications and see what comes up.” At this point I’m thinking “maybe this guy doesn’t want to do the surgery.” Now, I’m a firm believer that information on the internet is thoroughly reliable and backed by research, but it seems like putting the phrase vasectomy and complications into google might not be the best idea.

So I did it, and I found . . . long-term complications could include things as benign as heart disease, prostate cancer, and dementia. Though some sites do present the caveat that “These concerns have arisen mainly from isolated studies over the past 50 years” and, as my doctor said, “those people were likely to get those diseases anyway”.

One of the complications that the doc mentioned was unusual soreness or pain and swelling. Seems to me that it might be unusual just because you don’t normally have someone cutting open your scrotum, but maybe there are some fetishes that I don’t know about. Apparently the doc doesn’t normally get many calls about abnormal pain but “there have seemed to be a rash of calls over the past couple of weeks. Not sure what that is about.” Me neither buddy . . . me neither. Apparently, in some cases, there could be long-term “discomfort” or soreness. My doc has never heard of his patients suffering from anything long-term, “but they could be suffering in silence . . .”.

I did get a very nice sketch of the internal testicular arrangements, with a description of the various places on the testicle that could experience swelling.

In short, “no surgeon wants to be blamed for every medical issue following a surgery”. Hey, I get it. I mean, yes the nuts are the driving force for many of the bodies essential functions, but that doesn’t mean that tying them in knots will influence anything else.

So then the doc goes into what needs to be done for the surgery. Not much in the way of preparation. Just a little shaving of the groin. Not the upper part, just the testicles. A couple of things: 1) If I am paying you for the surgery, why doesn’t it include a nice warm shave. And 2) It seems to me that of all the parts of the “groin” to shave, the testicles are likely the most challenging.

After all the talk, the consultation took an unexpected twist. Apparently, a vasectomy has a slight chance of elevating your PSA’s. Have I had a PSA recently lately? No? Turn around and bend at the waist please. My guess is that this is not how either of us wanted to start our day. “I’m sorry” said the doc. You’re sorry!? It’s 8 in the morning. I ran out of the house, dropped the kids at school, and scrambled to the doctors office. I was not fully prepared for this twist. With a little heads up there are some preparations I could have made that would have mad the whole experience a little more enjoyable for everyone. But I did what the asked. As I “bent at the waist” the doctor gave an audible sigh of “oh boy . . .”. Seriously dude!? I get it. That can’t be fun. But that wasn’t the ego booster I was looking for.

As the doc got up to leave the office he closed the whole thing with “I’ll see you or I won’t”. I have to admit I felt a bit let down. We got close, and covered a lot of ground in a very short meeting. But we’ll see each other again. He’s not getting out of this thing that easy!